Adam Michael Webber, owner of HK Parts, has been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson to 4 years in a federal prison after he pleaded guilty to selling firearms without a license.
The Utah businessman was convicted last year of selling firearms without a license and five counts of tax fraud. According to an excerpt from The Salt Lake Tribune, “after the conviction, Benson himself made an error in the jury instructions, noting that he granted Webber a new trial on the count of dealing in firearms without a license.”
Webber however, signed a plea agreement in May, which reads in part:
“I hereby acknowledge and certify that I have been advised of and that I understand
the following facts and rights, and that I have had the assistance of counsel in reviewing,
explaining, and entering into this agreement:
1. As part of this agreement with the United States, I intend to plead guilty to
Count 1 of the Second Superseding Indictment. My attorneys have explained the nature
of the charge against me, and I have had an opportunity to discuss the nature of the
charge with my attorneys. I understand the charge and what the government is required
to prove in order to convict me. The elements of Count 1, Dealing in Firearms Without a
First, that I was a dealer in firearms engaged in the business of selling firearms at
wholesale or retail;
Second, that I engaged in the business without a licensed under federal law; and
Third, that I acted willfully, knowing that my conduct was unlawful.”
The Salt Lake Tribune reports Webber gave a speech in court before his sentencing, apologizing to his wife and kids, the judge and each prosecuting attorney, but Judge Benson wasn’t hearing it.
“I appreciate the effort, but I don’t believe a lot of it,” he said.
Benson reportedly handed down 37 months and a $250,000 fine.
Below are more details from the court case, reported by The Salt Lake Tribune:
“Prosecutors initially said Webber had acquired more than 2,000 firearms between 2008 and 2012 to be sold. After the plea deal, the number was adjusted down to “well over 200” firearms, court documents state. Federal investigators seized 369 firearms from a warehouse and 11 from Webber’s home, according to court documents.
In 2007, Webber and his brother had agreed to never apply for a federal firearms license or deal in weapons. The agreement was part of a civil settlement with the U.S. government after federal agents seized several firearms that belonged to Webber in 2005.
The same year, Webber operated HK Parts, an online market for unregulated firearm parts and accessories, out of the basement of his Rose Park home. In 2008, he added firearms to the product line, according to prosecutors. In addition to selling firearms online, he met with customers in a parking lot to sell guns, according to court documents.
Defense attorney Rebecca Skordas said during the sentencing hearing that only 1.8 percent of HK Parts’ sales could be attributed to the sale of firearms.
“The idea that he profited from illegal wealth is not accurate,” Skordas said.
From 2007 and 2010, Webber earned more than $10 million in gross receipts from his business, between the legal sale of parts and the illegal sale of firearms.
The prosecution doesn’t know how much of the income came from illegal sales versus legal sales, said prosecuting attorney Kathleen Barry said Thursday.
But, Webber also was found guilty of underreporting how much he made in both his legal and illegal sales, reporting just $183,397 in gross receipts on tax forms.
He twice sold firearms to undercover agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Webber bought a house in $670,000 — in cash and under his wife’s name — according to court documents. He sheltered the home with a “sham limited liability company and the charade of a promissory note and mortgage worth less in reality than the paper on which it was printed,” court documents state. Skordas argued on Thursday that that decision was made based on advice from the couple’s real estate broker.
Webber paid $1.8 million in restitution to the IRS prior to the sentencing hearing.
The judge is allowing him to self-surrender to prison on Jan. 22, 2018. After serving four years of prison, he will be under supervised release for three years.”